Leslie Moonves Says CBS Plans to Renew Freshman Shows, Pursuing NFL Streaming Rights for All Access

Supergirl CW CBS
Courtesy of CBS

Good news for “Supergirl,” “Limitless” and the rest of CBS’ freshman lineup — CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves says the network plans to renew five new shows from the 2015-16 season.

Speaking at an investor conference in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday morning, Moonves expressed optimism about the fate of the network’s new shows: “We have five new shows on the air. Of the five, I believe all five of them will be renewed. And we own four of them,” he noted at the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference in Florida.

That means likely renewals for “Code Black,” “Limitless,” “Life in Pieces” and “Supergirl,” although the fifth show is in question, given that Jane Lynch-led comedy “Angel From Hell” was pulled from the schedule after five airings in February (usually a precursor to cancellation), and new dramas “Rush Hour” — based on the 1998 film — and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” have yet to premiere.

The CBS topper also discussed the Eye’s 2016-17 lineup, noting that CBS has ordered 17 pilots for coming season. “You will not see more than four or five new shows ordered out of those 17,” he said, because the network has a stable roster of programs and few holes to fill.

“We don’t need that much,” Moonves said. He emphasized CBS’ intent to own most of the programs it puts on air, so it can monetize them more fully when trying to sell them to international outlets, subscription-video-on-demand companies or other parties.

CBS’ ratings have stood out this season, but it hasn’t been immune to audience erosion — “Supergirl” hit another season low last week, notching a 1.4 in adults 18-49 and falling behind Fox’s “Gotham” for the first time — about 30% below CBS’ comedies in the hour a year ago. “Limitless” also hit another low last week, dipping to a 1.1 in the demo, and down 35% from “Person of Interest” in the time slot a year ago. “Code Black” ended its modest run last month, while “Life and Pieces” is the season’s No. 1 new comedy, retaining about 55% of its lead-in from “The Big Bang Theory” and maintaining steady numbers throughout the season.

The network has yet to announce any official pick-ups.

Separately, Moonves said the company was satisfied with a recent deal struck with the National Football League that will give CBS five “Thursday Night Football” games instead of the eight it broadcast last season. The NFL has decided to run five other Thursday-night games on NBC in 2016. Moonves suggested the deal made economic sense for CBS and said the network would run the five games at the start of the TV season before launching more traditional prime-time fare on Thursdays in October and November.

Moonves said CBS is also in negotiations with the league to secure streaming rights to all of the NFL games the network carries for the CBS All Access SVOD service. At present CBS has to block those games from airing on the All Access live stream. CBS’ push comes as the NFL is pursuing yet another rights deal with a non-TV streaming service for its package of “Thursday Night Football” games.

“We are in discussions about getting it on All Access. We think that will happen,” Moonves said. “Obviously the NFL will get a piece of our subscriber fee (and) will also get bonuses as they add people. I think it’s something that once again is inevitable. It will happen, discussions continue to be ongoing with the NFL, and we think it will be valuable to get them.”

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  1. tktool2013 says:

    when i was growing up and watched superman and jimmy olsen, jimmy olsen was not a tall black guy and super girl didn’t want to date him. watched a couple of episodes, i don’t want to watch it any more

  2. Lithp says:

    I wondered why CBS would possibly cancel “Supergirl,” seeing as its “rating erosion” is no more than would be expected over the course of a season & left it with numbers still double what “Arrow” & “The Flash” get.

    Then I read the comments & remembered how many people are just determined to hate it, often because it references feminism, horror of horrors.

  3. Melissa Zimmermanan says:

    Please save super girl! It was awesome to finally have a strong female lead and strong supporting females too. Great for moms and growing girls! It’s no just a guys dominated society!!

  4. changshafu says:

    Your posts are edited for clarity? I don’t even know what show the moron with the “Black/White” relationship comment is referring to, but it certainly isn’t referring to anything with clarity. Is this your kick-off troll?

  5. Rick says:

    The show could be good, but i do not think that CBS prime time is a place to push a Black & White relationship on Children. Let them grow up and make that decision themself. I do not like it, Many people do not like it and i do not and will not let my children watch it.

    • Terrell says:

      What the hell? It’s not the place to push a Black & White relationship on Children? It’s time for you and your friends pissed at Old Navy to go back to 1957.

    • strawberry0676 says:

      What are you drinking and what year are we in again? Might wanna look at your calendar again and stop being racist.

    • Fritz In jrrdey says:

      Good God…just so you know, we left the 1960s or earlier behind us quite a while ago. Currently, the year is 2016 and we have had a black President and interracial relationships are fine…
      Two people love each other…that’s all that matters!! Since you’re stuck in the past..put away the computer. They haven’t been invented yet.

    • concerned citizen says:

      what the hell kinda comment is that!

    • Robin S. says:

      Are you serious? You know it’s 2016, not 1966, right?

  6. Terry Burke says:

    Yeah, but Supergirl was left off the renewal list they just released, thank God.

  7. Lyn says:

    Supergirl is one of the best shows on TV. Finally a family show!!! So much better than sex, sex, sex! No psychological crap or real violence. It is fine, pure make believe.

  8. Tim says:

    I expected maybe to much of the show, maybe some parallels to Smallville some years ago, but sorry, after I saw the first 3 episodes the conclusion is only WORSE. More than that. The story has no real backround or is associated between the episodes, the dialogs are bad; in the first two episodes I heard 30 times the sentences about Girl vs. man. Girls are so much better…etc. Think that´s only the core of the show. The actors are not really convincing; Melissa Benoist is a good actress but not convincing as Supergirl and Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olson? Really? Mehcad is an acceptable actor, saw him in Law & Ordner New York and My generation but Jimmy Olson…..Jimmy should be a nerdy, freckle guy but now he is a guy who looks like going six days in the week in the gym. Sorry but I hope after the actual season the show will be cancalled.

  9. Adam says:

    I honestly didn’t think that “Supergirl” wouldn’t make it past 10 episodes or so.

  10. Mulder says:

    I hate Supergirl…..so cheap.

    But Limitless is so coo, and fun….Jake Macdoman is Awesome i like the man.

  11. stevehc1 says:

    Good to see that Les Moonves remains as the industry’s most competent exec leader on the planet.

    BTW – Somebody should tell you guys at V that streaming services such as CBS All Access ARE “TV” services, *not* “non-TV” services. People are increasingly watching them on their televisions and less so on small-screen computing devices.

  12. BrianK says:

    I enjoy the show and really haven’t noticed a “militant feminism” element. “Supergirl” is a fun, exciting show that’s anchored by charming lead actress, and a good supporting cast – especially Chyler Leigh. I agree the Kara/Jimmy relationship is a weak link, but Jimmy’s character is slowly getting better. Looking forward to an official announcement for season two.

  13. Roger says:

    Supergirl is going to be iffy for a season 3 if they don’t change a few things. She has zero chemistry with Jimmy Olsen and she needs to back off the militant feminism. She’s the most powerful female on the planet. Great! We realize that, but you don’t have to compete with your cousin. If Batman can accept her cousins help her ego should get past it!

    • “Militant feminism”? This is show is dancing on the edge of being the most sexist thing on television at the moment. If I have to hear one more time about how it’s so weird to have a female superhero or that we really can’t expect that much of her because she’s a girl and how she’s never going to be Superman because, well, she’s a GIRL (did you know she’s a girl? it’s like a thing, you guys) I will throw something. Meanwhile Teen Wolf has female Alphas and gay werewolves without blinking an eyelid, This is not 1956. I don’t need the writers to try to shepherd me slowly to the idea a woman could be a hero. The fact they think having a female superhero requires this much textual massaging, is the most sexist thing I’ve seen on TV this year.

      • Roger says:

        Are we watching the same show? She’s the second most powerful person on the planet but every episode she or one of her costars has to claim she’s faster, or stronger or more powerful than her cousin or she was able to beat a villain that her cousin couldn’t beat. Or an episode where she’s pissed off at Jimmy for alerting Superman that she could be in danger. If the rest of the Justice League can accept his help, Miss Egotrip shouldn’t have a problem with it. There is a fine line between self esteem and boastful arrogance. What part makes you think it’s sexist? The fact that she wears a skirt or goes by Super”girl”? There are definitely misogynist jerks that can’t accept a powerful woman. Much of the hatred for this show can stem from that. Many of us also have no problem with a powerful female hero. We believe in fair pay and equal opportunities for women. You can be pro female and not be anti-male.

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